Quality Matters: Whatever you write, and whoever you’re writing for, it’s important that you never publish anything that attracts criticism on grounds of quality. Edit, edit, then edit again. If you don’t, you will get hammered in the Reviews.
Value: You’ll often hear from writing gurus that “less is more” in non-fiction. This may work for some people, but it doesn’t work for most. Potential buyers can see the number of pages on your Amazon Sales Page, and frankly anything under 100 pages is short-changing the customer unless you’re permanently at $0.99, and permanently broke!
De-Personalise: Unless you’re a celebrity or you’re in a really tiny niche, most readers don’t care very much about you, apart from the superficial stuff. This is not your life story, and although anecdotes can serve well in the right context, this is an information or entertainment vehicle and you should de-personalise as much as possible.
Write Two Hundred Words Before Breakfast. Some days you just won’t feel like you can meet your quota, but two hundred words takes ten minutes or less. If you do this, you’ll find it many times easier to come back later in the day and finish what you started.
Get A Great Chair: You’ll be sitting in it for anything up to ten or twelve hours a day, so it needs to be the right height, and something that keeps you upright so you’re not tempted to slouch back and take your eye off the ball. Success is about productivity, and negating writers’ fatigue.
Get A Laptop. It needn’t be spanky or new, and it may not be your main writing machine, but you need something portable for those days when you simply can’t be at your normal desk. If you have a day job, take your laptop to work and use your breaks or your lunch hour to hit your word count every day.
Don’t Worry About Your Title: Whilst writing your book you’ll need a working title, but the real thing is a sophisticated and complex beast which does a number of jobs. I can almost guarantee that whatever you choose at the beginning, you’ll change it at least once before you get to the end.
Backup your Work Constantly: If you lose a whole manuscript, or even just a chapter, you’ll be really pissed off if you have to do it again.
Content is King, but Marketing is King Kong: You need to keep the factory moving, and churn out those great books. But you need to find incremental hours in front of your PC or on your iPhone to keep pushing your messages and building your fan base. You should never go anywhere without an Internet-connected device in your pocket, purse, or handbag.
Hustle: Your book won’t sell itself, and neither should you be investing all your royalties in advertising. Be prepared to hustle to get your sales moving. It’s really not that tough!
Involve Everyone: If you’re just writing a book for some extra pocket money or to feed your vanity, this is irrelevant. But if you’re serious about a career as a writer, you’ll need to wrap everybody into your new world. You should eat, breathe, and sleep your writing and let the world know that it is your profession and your obsession. Some will turn away, but the majority will give you more support than you ever imagined possible.
Put In More Than You Take Out: Find places where writers like you are congregating, particularly on Facebook and LinkedIn. Help them with their promotions, give them the benefit of your specialised knowledge, but most of all buy and review their books, and you’ll find their reciprocation will be amazing.
Never Put Your Picture On The Front Cover: Unless you’re extraordinarily good-looking or very well-known. It’s a massive turn-off for readers!
Don’t Worry If You Can’t Think Of What To Write Next: Before this book is finished, the idea for the next one will appear. Just make sure that when it does, you write it down so you don’t forget.
Live Your Persona: You’re writing a book, so when people ask what you do, tell them you’re a Writer or an Author. They will always be interested, and they’ll usually be very nice to you. They’ll also give you ideas. It’s good for your ego, it strengthens your confidence, and it gives you a taste of how it would be if you were doing this full-time.
Stick to the Rules: You can invent a better mousetrap but you can’t re-invent the wheel. You will learn to understand the Amazon environment, and everything you need to succeed is in there.